Schoolies Week

Dear Peaceful Inhabitants of an Ancient Island,

Two diligent Australian students take a summer course in Balinese cultural studies with a major in booty shakin

There are several things you should know about the hordes of young Australians visiting you this week who are collectively known as “Schoolies”.

The first thing is, some of them actually own shirts. Sure, they haven’t worn them much this week, but they do own them.

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  • lingo says:

    06:55pm | 19/11/12

    It should be mandatory for international travellers to have insurance and understand that if they break the law they will be punished according to local custom. Aside from that, its not our problem what these youngsters get up to. Read more »

  • PW says:

    05:43pm | 19/11/12

    They try to drink as hard as the boys, but mostly end up projectile vomiting in a range of fluro colours. Never fear, though, it doesn’t take long for these darlings to learn to hold their drink. Read more »


If there had been a sorting hat at my high school it would have asked two questions: Have you seen all six Star Wars films and have you ever been pashed.

Who wants to brainstorm uni majors!!!

Depending on which question got a “yes”, the wearer would be ushered to the geeks or the cool crowd. If they had a firm understanding of what a sorting hat actually was, they’d go direct to the geeks.

I was quick work for the hat. I’d seen every Star Wars film five times and wore a Darth Maul t-shirt to the opening of The Phantom Menace. Thankfully no need for the second question.

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  • Rossco says:

    07:25pm | 17/09/12

    generalisation much in this article? There’s obviously alcohol being used at these events so it must automatically have a biased media style campaign aginst it… Read more »

  • Geek says:

    06:37pm | 17/09/12

    I was a geek and I went to schoolies with all my geek friends. I don’t think any “jocks” even went to schoolies in my grade. Read more »


The last few weeks have seen the annual surge of stories talking about the dangers facing young adults celebrating the end of their compulsory schooling.

Students head off to Schoolies Week to get hammered

Most of the headlines have been taken up with reports on the tragic fatal electrocution of a young man in Bali. However, coming close behind have been a glut of current affairs pieces, garnished with a menacing techno soundtrack, detailing the many and varied ways Australia’s sons and daughters can either have their lives ruined or cut short during Schoolies.

Predictably, parents across the nation have made public their fear and reluctance to allow their offspring to go let off a little steam, far away from the stress that has been their constant companion for the last couple of years.

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  • St. Michael says:

    12:07am | 04/12/11

    Hey jade, I hate the Punch blog software too, but y’need to stop clicking “Submit” three times. Read more »

  • marley says:

    06:07pm | 02/12/11

    Umm, maybe their parents? Read more »


On cue, the league of self-appointed moral guardians is dutifully doing the rounds, making a lot of noise about Schoolies and the imminent decay of Good Society it will precipitate. They make arbitrary claims about what constitutes “fun” and play upon the tired moral panics over young girls, binge drinking and indiscriminate sex.

P.A.R.T.Y. Photo:Robert McKell.

Why, they ask, must school-leavers celebrate the end of mandatory education by congregating near beaches and getting plastered? And why hasn’t someone – presumably the government – put a stop to all this and offered some more wholesome, healthier alternative for kids to let off steam?

Well, there are plenty of alternatives, none of them popular. Schoolies is a naturally developing phenomenon and nobody is forced to participate. Year after year, thousands of friendship groups independently make the decision to head north, or south as the case may be, and enjoy being away from home, with lots of booze and lots of sex.

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  • Leah says:

    09:51am | 13/12/11

    I just got back from schoolies and had the best week ever. The author encapsulated what schoolies was about for me and none of you can take that away. Yes the author is young, yet you cannot disregard his or my opinion because to your eyes we are not physically… Read more »

  • Servaas says:

    12:37am | 03/12/11

    ‘self-appointed moral guardians’ That includes all of us, not only the morally conservative - everyone thinks their standard is THE one. Come on the hyper lefties, take ownership now. Read more »


It says a lot about Australia’s binge-drinking culture that an event such as Schoolies Week - where drunken violence, date rape and death by misadventure is relatively commonplace – is regarded as a routine rite of passage for young people who in most cases aren’t even old enough to drink legally.

I'm just a teenage dirtbag, baby. Photo: Richard Gosling. Source:

I still have about eight years up my sleeve but as a parent I am dreading the day when my son or, especially, daughter comes to me and says: “Dad, can I go to Schoolies?”

It is a nightmarish scenario for parents. You want to strike a balance between making sure your kids are safe, but not wanting to keep them so swaddled in cotton wool that they become resentful and maladjusted introverts who miss the chance to socialise and have some fun at a landmark moment in their lives.

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  • Jay says:

    01:53pm | 06/12/11

    My son just returned from Byron Bay and he had a great time. There were a couple of scuffles, but overall everyone was well behaved and enjoyed themselves. Get over it. Read more »

  • SickOfTossers says:

    12:46pm | 30/11/11

    I’d like to see a show about Schoolies ala RBT, Border Security etc so we could all laugh at the misfortunes of the dumb little bastards. Embarassing footage of girls vomiting all over themselves with their skirts around their necks, busted up faces, tears as they get arrested and ask… Read more »


Few Australians navigate their teen years without heaving their guts up after a massive drinking binge. With Schoolies Week almost upon us, the focus will no doubt turn to dangerous levels of alcohol consumption in youngsters. 

Don't tell anyone but I've got apple juice in this bottle. Photo: Nathan Edwards

I hardly touch the stuff now but as a teenager, mainly to fit in with my friends, I smuggled cheap wine cask bladders into pubs and guzzled them.

The aftermath was never pretty, and luckily it didn’t take long for me to realise blacking out and throwing up were not much fun. I’ve basically been a teetotaller since my early 20s.

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  • Tim says:

    08:21pm | 15/11/11

    Thanks Mum. Read more »

  • Luke says:

    07:25pm | 15/11/11

    I think we are all missing the issue… All these teen are gdoing what they are doing because they need to have sex with one another… i think more males should be having gay sex with one another and thus they wont drink as much Read more »


Don’t you just hate it when you forget to reinforce your beachfront apartment with barb-wire fencing?

The end of the world is nigh… Picture: Adam Head

Yep, it’s that time of the year again when “well-to-do” grown ups quietly mutter under their breaths that every 16-year-old in Surfers Paradise should be tasered in the face. Cars explode and cinder blocks are thrown through Harvey Norman windows as teenagers in leather jackets have sex on the street while homeless guys wave “end is nigh” signs around.

Rubber bullets zoom through the air and Wicked vans are rolled as the Prime Minister is taken by Blackhawk to an underground security facility at Alice Springs. I’m talking (of course) about Schoolies.

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  • Matt says:

    11:16pm | 11/09/11

    For the weekend bro? It goes for 3 weeks haha Read more »

  • Ben says:

    03:32pm | 19/11/10

    Not to mention driving as well Read more »


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